121 Exceptional High School Seniors Awarded up to $40,000 Per Year to Cover College Costs

Cooke Scholars celebrating

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s unique scholarship program levels the playing field for high-achieving students with financial need at the nation’s top colleges and universities

Lansdowne, VA — The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious College Scholarship Program today announced awards to 121 high-achieving high school students with financial need. This year’s winners, who come from high schools across 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, will receive up to $40,000 annually for up to four years to study at top colleges and universities, including Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.

Unique among the nation’s most generous scholarship programs, new Cooke College Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising from Foundation staff, in addition to support from a network of nearly 2,500 active scholars and alumni to guide them through college transition and career development. The Foundation also provides opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding to level the playing field between scholars and their more connected peers.

“We know that when high-achieving students with financial need are able to enroll in selective institutions, they are just as likely as their more affluent peers to be academically successful and graduate,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “The Foundation is committed to ensuring that financial obstacles aren’t a barrier to opportunity.”

This year, more than 5,500 students applied for the Cooke College Scholarship, and, for the first time, students were able to apply via the Common Application. Many of these students were identified through a partnership with the College Board, which connects scholarship organizations to students through their participation in the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10. Additional outreach partners included Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), College Advising Corps, Bard Early Colleges, and Chicago Scholars. The foundation evaluated each submission based on academic ability, persistence, leadership, and service to others. Engineering, political science and government, biological science, and physics are the most popular fields of study among the cohort.

A list of the 2019 Cooke College Scholars, including the high schools and states they represent, can be found below.

Interested in learning more about the Cooke College Scholarship Program? Sign up to receive an email alert when the application opens again this fall!



Olivia Carter* — Han-Ber High School
Kaitlyn Mashburn* — Fayetteville Virtual Academy



Zurisadai “Zuri” Duarte* — Stevenson School
Alyssa Felix-Arreola* — American University Preparatory School
Chixue “Sybil” Fu — Alameda Science & Technology Institute
Caleb Huang — International High School of French American International School
Eric Huber* — Downey High School
Hangyul Kim* — North Hollywood High School
Hayeon “Kayla” Lee* — The Hotchkiss School
Dena Liu — Will C. Wood High School
Victoria Mellow* — Scripps Ranch High School
Jerry Okina — Oakland Technical High School
Zachary Pakin — Freedom High School
Arshpreet “Arsh” Sekhon — Choate Rosemary Hall
Monica Tavassoli — Century High School
Tiffany Yuen* — Urban School of San Francisco
Amy Fabian* — Saint Margaret’s Episcopal School



Steven Garcia-Machuca – Basalt High School
Hunter Udelhoven* — Fountain-Fort Carson High School


District of Columbia

Michael Wallace-Bruce* — Sidwell Friends School



Aranza Diaz – Miami Beach Senior High School
Jordan Evans* — Buchholz High School
Khalil Jackson — Lincoln Park Academy
Rosmeilyn “Rosy” Jerez — Mater Academy Charter High School
Jennifer “Jenni” Lawson* — Phillips Academy
Zachary “Zac” LeBlanc* — Spruce Creek High School
Brock Lerner* — Atlantic Community High School
Angie Lopez* — Coral Gables Senior High School
Angel Vasquez — School for Advanced Studies – North



Jennifer Godoy Avila — Cross Keys High School
Nathan Posner — The Weber School
Daniela “Dani” Trejo* — Creekview High School



Kaitlyn Strandberg — Kalani High School



Elbie Seibert — Columbia High School



Kanyinsola Anifowoshe* — Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Amado “Mado” Candelario — Eric Solorio Academy High School
Maria Castellanos* — Fenwick High School
Ketandu Chiedu — Walter Payton College Preparatory High School
Halle Clottey — Dwight D. Eisenhower High School
Sammer Marzouk — University of Chicago Laboratory High School



Alexandra “Ali” Kwiecien* — The Culver Academies



Gage Roberts* — Salina High School South



Mercy Campbell* — Lawrenceville School
Chaze Vinci — Franklin-Simpson High School



Linda Denson — Benjamin Franklin High School
Amaris Lewis — Lusher Charter School
Taijah Nelson* — Ouachita Parish High School



Alicia Argueta* — Sandy Spring Friends School
Jake Beairsto* — Seed School of Maryland
Ummara Khan — Richard Montgomery High School
Grace Kim — Poolesville High School
Pei-lin “Betty” Xiong — Colonel Zadok Magruder High School



Angelreana Choi* — Phillips Academy



Maria “Masha” Kaltchenko — Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science



Mahlet Getahun — University Academy Charter School
Kelvin Vieyra — Milan C-2 School



Saray Bedoya — Papillion-La Vista High School



Tseion Mebratu — West Career and Technical Academy


New Hampshire

Joshua “Josh” Beirich* — St. Paul’s School
Tommy Kim* — Phillips Exeter Academy


New Jersey

Raymond “Ray” Alvarez-Adorno* — Phillips Exeter Academy
Omar Ibrahim — Passaic County Technical Institute


New York

Nashely Alvarez* — Northfield Mount Hermon School
Dehandra Blackwood — Freeport High School
Natalie Bordeaux* — William Nottingham High School
Alice Camaione* — Our Lady of Mercy High School
Luca Cantone* — Phillips Exeter Academy
Salma Elsayed — Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria
Aisha Irshad — Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice
Kevin Lin* — Collegiate School
Marc Mapeke — Bard High School Early College II
Alanah McKeever* — Clarkstown High School South
Stella Ng — Stuyvesant High School
Morgan Oldfield — Dansville High School
Alison Parish* — Spence School
Summer Shabana — Stuyvesant High School


North Carolina

Sara “Maddie” Buchanan — Southern Lee High School
Iman Dancy* — Enloe High School
Jessee Steele – North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics



Jesus Leal* — Cristo Rey Columbus High School
Asia McKenzie — Federal Hocking High School



Israel Perez — South Salem Senior High School



Nicole Harrington — Academy at Palumbo
Rosa Myers* — Quaker Valley High School


Puerto Rico

Juan Rodriguez — Escuela Secundaria Especializada en CIMATEC


South Carolina

JuHwan Cho* — Governor School Science and Math
Chancellor Nguyen — South Aiken High School
Hunter Staiger* — Socastee High School


South Dakota

Matilda “Matee” Anderson* — Saint Francis Indian School
Jueun Nam — Roosevelt High School
Zane Rankin — Belle Fourche High School



Tayonna Ewin — Pearl-Cohn High School
Liam Ferris* — Ensworth High School
Isabella Trasolini — Dyer County High School



Ryan Earll* — Lawrence D. Bell High School
Anahita Farishta* — W.B. Ray High School
Autumn Golden* — Texas High School
Antony Hernandez — Edinburg North High School
Summer Mensch* — Bryan High School
Sarida Morejon* — Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School
Marcus Ortiz — Del Valle High School
Samuel “Sam” Payne* — Lindale High School
Raul Reyes — Harmony School of Innovation – Waco
Maria Sailale* — The Hockaday School
Amelia Strickland* — Northfield Mount Hermon School
Zephelline “Zephie” Villalobos* — Klein Collins High School



Mishka Banuri — West High School



Anna Apilado* — Putney School



Bryan Alvarez-Carcamo — Mount Vernon High School
Esther Kim* — Episcopal High School
Bryan Lopez* — Washington-Lee High School
Angelina Marsella* — Home Schooled
Kahmile Whitby — Norview High School



Charlotte Marckx* — Interlake High School
Annie Seo — Decatur High School



Mirian Vargas — Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School


* Indicates that this student is also a current Cooke Young Scholar.

An additional five scholars did not opt into publicity.

UPDATE April 15, 2019: This post was updated to include the names of 15 additional scholarship recipients. Previously, this press release referenced a total of 106 recipients in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. www.jkcf.org